Meanwhile, other top pros like Swedish racer Fredrik Kessiakoff, Belgian Roel Paulissen, and Italian Yader Zoli will seek sun and fitness in Yermasogia on the island of Cyprus at the Race Under the Sun, also set for Sunday.
German Karl Platt will face a tough battle to repeat last year's victory. Kessiakoff, who took bronze at the worlds 2006 in Rotorua, New Zealand, showed a good form last weekend as the winner of first and second stages in the Afxentias stage race although he suffered a flat tire during the third stage. Kessiakoff may be on his way to lead the world rankings; however the first set of rankings will not be released until March 20.
This year's women's race is shaping up to be a highly contested one. Former world champion, Sabine Spitz from Germany will lead the women's peloton along with worlds medallist Petra Henzi (Sui) and U23 racer Elisabeth Osl (Aut).
Like last year, organizers are expecting the field to begin to split on the very first climb going into the 6.1km circuit with 245m of climbing per lap.